WSOP Nevada Hits Downswing, Tries to Reverse It

Posted on July 23, 2014

The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas was very good to WSOP.com. The two worked together for the first time for the entirety of the summer series, and it paid off.

Not only did WSOP.com in Nevada jump to the top of the US regulated online poker traffic charts, beating out even the New Jersey traffic leader (PartyPoker), the site was credited for some of the success of the WSOP live tournament series.

However, as soon as the WSOP wrapped on July 14, the next few days saw the last of the traveling poker players depart Nevada, and online traffic dropped. It found its way back to pre-WSOP levels. But the site has not given up on making a rebound.

WSOP was Good for WSOP

As mentioned, the WSOP.com numbers for Nevada skyrocketed – as much as possible for the burgeoning US market, anyway. The online poker site and live tournament series coordinated to encourage players to enjoy both forms of poker. The online site awarded seats to live events at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, and the WSOP presence there promoted the website and enlisted players to sign up and give the new online poker in America a try.

It worked.

Quite a few players signed up for new accounts online and won their seats in Nevada – and even from New Jersey – to play in the WSOP events. And through a 25-seat scramble in Nevada and a five-seat one in New Jersey, there were quite a few WSOP Main Event seats worth $10K awarded as well.

According to WSOP.com’s Head of Online Poker, Bill Rini, “We qualified and registered 99 players for the Main Event from NV and NJ. Nevada supplied more players than did New Jersey.”

He was not able to break down the numbers further, however. “Some won more than one seat and played in other $10K events, and some broke the $10K up into other seats for smaller buy-in events. We didn’t really keep track of what they originally won.”

Meanwhile, WSOP.com in Nevada soared to the highest traffic the site had ever seen in the nearly-one year since its launch.

Easy Come, Easy Go

When the WSOP events finished at the Rio in Las Vegas, most players went home to their respective states and countries. The average cash game traffic decreased as the Main Event moved forward and ultimately returned to pre-WSOP levels by the middle of July.

The site attempted to keep some additional traffic with a “Watch the Show, Play for Dough” promotion that is set to kick off next week. Players have the chance to compete in tournaments while watching the first three weeks of the WSOP on ESPN in special events that offer $2,500 guarantees each week.

Those events run from July 29 to August 12, each Tuesday night at 8pm local Nevada time. Each event has an $11 buy-in with rebuys and add-ons allowed.

It is also likely that the WSOP will try to capitalize on the crowd of players and friends who will return to Las Vegas for the November Nine final table in a few months. While nothing is liable to attract summer-type numbers, there should be a bit of an upward trend in traffic during that time. This also depends on what type of promotion is offered.

Hello, 888

Another prospect for boosting traffic after the WSOP will likely take form in the next few months. Just after the WSOP, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved a recommendation that will allow 888 and WSOP to share online poker liquidity. The state’s gaming commission is expected to give final approval this week.

With 888 preparing to launch an online poker site with Treasure Island and Golden Gaming, the combined marketing effort with WSOP could improve play and attract new players. And since 888 powers the three Delaware online poker sites and that compact for liquidity also waiting to take shape, even more sharing of player pools could be the kick that WSOP needs to overcome the post-summer slump.

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